So once again we have survived.

Archive for the ‘Drama’ Category

Match Point

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

MATCH POINT is the new Woody Allen picture. The title refers to tennis but to me it sounds like just some generic name of a place title like GOSFORD PARK or PACIFIC HEIGHTS or LAND OF THE DEAD. If it was up to me it would be called KEEP YOUR DICK IN YOUR PANTS. You know, like, “This winter, director Woody Allen invites you to… Keep Your Dick In Your Pants.”

This is the first Woody Allen movie in a long time that doesn’t seem exactly like every other Woody Allen movie. It takes place in London with a mostly british cast. Jonathan Rhys somebody (a guy from TITUS) plays a guy named Chris. He’s a former pro tennis player who’s kind of a cheapskate, always trying to bum shit off of people. So one day he’s taking advantage of a rich tennis student’s generosity when he falls for the guy’s sister (Emily Mortimer). And then as soon as that’s rolling he falls even harder for the guy’s fiancee (Scarlett Johansen [hubba hubba]). He wants Scarlett bad and tries to make a pass at her but it doesn’t work out. So what the hell, he marries Emily. He gets a good job out of it and her parents pay for him to have a nice apartment and shit. And she wants some babies, now. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Mindhunters

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

Some day I gotta come up with a name for this certain style of movie I like, a movie that is really fuckin dumb, but in a good way. It manages to be so spectacular, almost innovative in its level of stupidity that it is what the young people now and in the ’80s called “awesome.” I’m not talking a dumb comedy like HOW HIGH, I’m talking about a movie that as far as anyone knows is supposed to be serious. One really good example is DEEP BLUE SEA, Renny Harlin’s movie about super intelligent sharks. That takes the genre to its highest levels because there are so many things that play with the audience’s expectations that it is undeniably clever, almost brilliant. And at the same time, so fuckin dumb. A movie where a girl has to take her scuba suit off and stand on top of it so as not to get electrocuted. Because of the super intelligent sharks. That’s the best, when it’s so smart and so dumb that you can’t even tell which is which anymore.

Well this is not that good but it is another dumb movie by the same director. I think maybe the pressure of doing a sequel to DIE HARD was too much for Renny Harlin to take, it damaged his brain and he’s been mushy ever since. MINDHUNTERS isn’t as good as DEEP BLUE SEA but it’s worthwhile if you’re into that type of stupid shit, like I am. It has Val Kilmer, Christian Slater and of course DEEP BLUE SEA’s LL Cool J in the cast but it sat on the shelf for a couple years. It actually came out on DVD in Russia a long time before it came out in american theaters. So maybe the Russians could tell me what to call this genre. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Crash (2005)

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

Unfortunately this is not the pervy Cronenberg movie I’ve never gotten around to seeing about the people getting off on car crashes. This is the race relations movie directed by Paul Haggis, writer of Clint’s MILLION DOLLAR BABY. I gotta be honest, my reason for seeing this was not that I thought I would like it, but that I was just real damn curious. Because it got so many rave reviews, and Roger Ebert chose it as the best of the year, but every single person I knew who had seen it said it was corny, overwrought bullshit.

I hate to be a centrist but I think it falls somewhere in the middle. It seems well intentioned. It’s trying to point out different kinds of subconscious racism, it’s trying to show that people are complicated, racists maybe have a chance of being redeemed, people who don’t think they are racists might end up shooting a black dude, etc. It’s one of those movies where there’s a bunch of different characters tangentally connected by coincidence and you find out as the story unfolds what they have to do with each other, which can be fun. And there’s some good little moments and whatnot. One of the best scenes actually involves a cop trying to save somebody from a flipped car before it blows up. In other words, a scene you can see in every single episode of CHiPs. But this is better directed so it’s pretty intense. Also Tony Danza has a cameo. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Hustle & Flow

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

I had a good feeling about this movie from right about the time the title came on the screen. It was a shot of a pimp (Terence Howard) and a ho (Taryn Manning) driving in a car, and it freeze frames to write the title in yellow ’70s style lettering.

I always like Terence Howard but I’ve never seen him in a lead role before. He’s always the supporting role that steals the movie. Here he has a lead role that steals the movie. I haven’t seen GET RICH OR DIE TRYIN but I would be surprised if Terence Howard’s performance in this movie doesn’t run a hundred circles around his co-star in that movie, both as an actor and as a rapper. True, he does mumble alot in this movie (you almost need subtitles) but I still feel his enunciation is better than Fifty Cents. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Munich and Sword of Gideon

Wednesday, January 11th, 2006

You know, MUNICH is almost the movie I was hoping SYRIANA would be. SYRIANA has alot to say about the complicated way the world works, but it doesn’t get you excited about it. You’re probaly not gonna be sitting on the edge of your seat. More likely you’ll be scratching your chin saying, “Interesting, interesting.” I’d rather see a movie that can be complex and political without sacrificing in the awesome department. A good balance of substance and badass. And that’s what this is.

Okay so maybe MUNICH isn’t as true to life as SYRIANA (in fact, some people think the real guy it’s based on made up the whole story and never worked for Mossad) but it sure is a more entertaining movie. Eric Bana (winner of the secret, recently declassified 2001 lead badass outlaw award for CHOPPER) plays Avner, a small time Israeli agent personally chosen by the prime minister to lead a team of assassins to kill 11 people believed to be involved in the planning of the massacre of the Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

The Park Is Mine

Wednesday, January 4th, 2006

I never heard of this one before but the box caught my eye. It’s from ’86 and apparently made for TV. Tommy Lee Jones – after ROLLING THUNDER but before UNDER SIEGE – plays another angry veteran on a rampage. This one though is unusual because he basically inherits this rampage from a deceased friend. I mean can you imagine? A little bit of money, maybe some furniture or something. But inheriting a rampage? That’s rough.

The movie starts out with a guy jumping off a building. Tommy Lee is at the funeral and shortly after receives a letter, and a key, from his dead ‘Nam buddy. In the letter the dead guy explains that he’s been preparing an attack on Central Park for a long time. The key leads to a ridiculous stash of guns, bullets and bombs. There are also maps showing where this guy has already planted explosives around the park. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Brokeback Mountain

Saturday, December 17th, 2005

For God’s sake man, when I go to see a western there are certain things I expect to see, and certain things I don’t expect to see, and one of the things I don’t expect to see–

Nah, I’m just fuckin with you. Everybody knows that BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN is “the gay cowboy movie.” Or that’s the hype anyway. So first thing’s first, I gotta tell you that the “gay cowboy” description is utter bullshit and if that’s what you wanna see you’re gonna be just as disappointed as I woulda been if I went in expecting THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES. Because this is not about gay cowboys. It’s about gay sheperds. They herd sheep. They shepherd. They are gay shepherds. Get it straight, America. Cowboys are dealing with cows and cattle and whatnot. If they herd sheep, they are shepherds. In this case, gay shepherds. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Syriana

Monday, December 12th, 2005

SYRIANA is not the movie about the talking Jesus lion, that’s CHRONICLES OF NARNIA. CHRONICLES OF NARNIA is not the one where Vin Diesel says “I haven’t smelled beautiful in a long time,” that’s CHRONICLES OF RIDICK.

Sorry, my man Richard Pryor died this week, so the jokes are awkward. But seriously folks. “Syriana” and “Narnia” sound similar enough, and there are alot of people who space out on movie titles. There’s got to be somewhere in this great country of ours where some knucklehead mixed up the names and went into the wrong movie and hilarity ensued. Picture a guy sitting waiting for what he thinks is a political ensemble drama. Thinking, wow, I’m surprised this many kids are interested in global politics. Or vice versa. Get all the popcorn, load all the kids in, wait through the ads and the previews and make the people around you uncomfortable. Shhh, Gunnar, time to be quiet. Skyler, you too. Do you need a time out? And then all the sudden a chubby George Clooney is in the middle east somewhere trying to set up a deal to sell a missile launcher. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Jarhead

Sunday, December 11th, 2005

I actually saw this movie weeks ago, and I thought of this new technique to try: research. See, this is what happens. I see a movie and I like it, but it’s based on a book I haven’t read and I wonder how it compares. Maybe I wouldn’t feel the same about it if I knew my shit. This time I decided instead of reviewing the movie right away I would first read the book, then see what I thought.

The only problem is that after I read the book the movie wasn’t as fresh in my mind and it kind of blended in with the book. So I struggled with the review for a while until neither the book or the movie were fresh in my mind. What I’m trying to say is, this review might not be so hot. If I get all confused and start talking about leprechauns or a circus montage or something that doesn’t seem to fit what you know about the movie JARHEAD, do not take my word for it, assume that I am confused. Learn from my mistakes people, don’t read books or learn stuff. Because the more you find out, the more you forget about that you used to know. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

A Thrilling Divorce Double Feature

Monday, November 7th, 2005

THE SQUID AND THE WHALE meets THE WEATHER MAN

Okay first of all I gotta ask, why does every movie lately gotta be about a nasty divorce, somebody’s dad dying, or both? I guess that’s just what happens when the sky turns grey and the leaves start falling off the trees, all the sudden you get all these depressing movies about how either you or your dad is a novelist and you fucked up everything with your wife and kids and you want to fix your marriage but that’s completely delusional, your wife has a new guy and she hates you because you’re an asshole and she can do better. (that’s what both of these are about.)

Which brings me to my second comment, you better look up what these movies are about before you see them because the titles are misleading. I know, how could you go wrong with a movie called SQUID VS. WHALE, but unfortunately it turns out that title is some kind of a metaphor or something. Which answers my question of how this got a theatrical release. There is no squid vs. whale fight, at least not a living squid and whale. And the dead ones that fight is only in a museum and only in the very end. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.